Lady Claire Macdonald, Patron of The Scottish Food Awards & Academy, best-selling cookery writer and hospitality expert

Patron | Lady Claire Macdonald OBE


I am so proud to be the Patron of The Scottish Food Awards & Academy.

There is nothing, whatsoever, as important as food – one of life’s primal pleasures.

Scotland provides the world with the very top quality in so many aspects of the subject. And Scotland is giving the rest of the world an increasingly impressive number of chefs and cooks. We have so much to be so proud of, and through these new awards and honours - for Places in May and People & Products in November at the SCOFA Academy Awards Ball - we will highlight and showcase all of this. 

All strength to all of you in the business of Scottish food, and in your endeavours for excellence throughout the country… and good luck!

Claire Macdonald
Gary McLean-Quin, Chairman of The Scottish Food Awards & Academy

Chairman | Gary McLean Quin


Over the past 15 years or so I've been involved with hospitality awards in Scotland and it was long the intention to set up The Scottish Food Awards. The groundwork started quite a few years ago and, in advance of our launch in May 2017, our social media accounts built up thousand of followers. The interest has been huge and the support wonderful. Thank you.

With the new awards program we've considered how best to embrace the three main industry spheres - People, Places and Products. And in forming The Scottish Food Awards' Academy structure we've been able to draw in great expertise and experience as we go about our first full year of operation from October 2017. 

My grandparents were hardworking farmers and butchers. The link between the land and the food we eat is one of my great interests: how we take care of the environment and, in protecting it, produce healthful natural produce. Scotland has an astonishingly productive capacity. And we have the chefs, companies and artisans to make the most of it. It's all fascinating - and complex.

But, as we know, the story of food is more complicated than that: it's a fundamental political and moral issue. It's business - big and small. It's global and it's local, it's tourism and TV. The nature of our food is extraordinarily influential to the health of the nation - and to ourselves individually, as nutritional knowledge grows year-on-year. The fact that we have food banks and innovative restaurants to help homeless folks in Scotland is both shocking and admirable.

I hope our ratings and awards inspire and encourage as much as honour and celebrate. We'll work with integrity and determined independence for those involved at every stage and in every way with food in our country. If you're in the industry in one way or another then l really look forward to meeting you - or catching up!

Thank you for your support and enthusiasm.

Gary McLean Quin

Hugh McLean Quin's butcher shop in Giffnock in 1932
My grandfather Hugh at my grandparents' butcher shop in Giffnock, Renfrewshire in 1932. Their farm was in Ayrshire / Galloway. He worked into his late 70s. I admire him more with the perspective of age!
Lea Harris, Gary McLean Quin, Vivian Maeda & Iain Fenwick
Lea Harris (Products Director), Gary McLean Quin (Chairman), Vivian Maeda (Food For Thought & Academy Member) & Iain Fenwick (Citylicious & Academy Fellow)
The Scottish Food Awards & Academy - winners!

Deputy Patron | Antony Butterworth

Products Director | Lea Harris

Business Director | Denis Coyne MBA

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